Closed September 2017

Clutter Video Tip: Eww! How to Organize When You Have Yucky, Unpleasant Projects

Good grief! Working on your garage can make you feel like Pig-Pen. Yucky or unpleasant organizing tasks are sometimes as unavoidable as Lucy calling Charlie Brown a blockhead. Watch this video for strategies to manage organizing dirty jobs and your project will be less stressful and more productive. And won’t that make you feel like Joe Cool?

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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and I just got all cleaned up from doing a sweaty garage project, so it inspired me to talk to you about those organizing projects that are a little bit unpleasant. They might be kind of yucky, and how do you best get through those projects and keep yourself as comfortable as possible?

So I have definitely done my fair share of garages with mouse and rat droppings around, or I have been in homes that reek of cigarette smoke or pet odors. I even have a colleague who had to evict a raccoon from a mattress where it was taking up residence, so you never know what you’re going to run into when you’re organizing; it can be really disgusting and you just sometimes have to do it. So, let’s talk about how to make that as comfortable as possible.

So first, you want to ask yourself: “Do I have to do this right now?” There might be a better time of year, there might be a better time of day, so if you can postpone that garage project in Texas from August to maybe October, November, you’re going to be much better off. Or even if you can do it 7 o’clock in the morning rather than 4 o’clock in the afternoon, think about that, and make it as easy on yourself as possible.

Second, I want you to think about all of the gear that you’re bringing in to make yourself as comfortable as possible. So you might want to wear a hat to keep the cobwebs and dust out of your hair. You definitely want to think about some gloves – I usually do in an organizing project in a garage or attic – and you might even need to wear a mask because of the aforementioned mouse droppings or lots of dust, sometimes there can even be mold in the area. You really want to think about that. Also, you want to have some cleaning products on hand to clean up as you go. I want to make a really specific point about trash bags; it doesn’t really matter what brand you get, but I want you to look on the label in the fine print and see how many “mil.” of thickness the bags are. These are at least 1.1 mil., that’s what I look for, because if the trash bags you are using are not thick enough, they are going to break, and that’s going to make you even more miserable when you’re already tired and sweaty and grumpy. So don’t do that to yourself. You might want to bring in a fan. I have this big one behind me that I use a lot, and of course a space heater would be great if you need to stay warmer in the cold months. So treat yourself to whatever comfort options you can to make it easier.

And lastly, you want to get some help. Don’t try to do this by yourself. Get a friend or family member, hire a college student, or better yet hire a professional organizer to make it as easy as possible on you, maybe even have it done for you. It will be a lot more efficient if you do it that way. And if you can’t either afford to hire a professional organizer or if you don’t have one in your area, we can help you virtually by giving you advice and helping give you a structure and a plan for your project.

So, we help people virtually, all over the world, seven days a week; you can check us out at We can help you for about the price of a pizza with real, personal, unlimited advice.

See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

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